Make sure you have all key elements in place before hitting the ground running on your fundraising efforts.
Let’s go over preparation-related things one last time before getting started:
You have a fundraising strategy with a clear idea of what you need to get to the next exciting milestone. You have considered your fit with the VC asset class and various tactical details.
You have activated, expanded, and excited your network, in particular with VC-backed entrepreneurs, who gave you feedback on your fundraising materials and investor list. Some of those turned into champions, willing to bat for you.
You have drafted fundraising materials that allow you to tell a powerful and compelling story to investors.
You have compiled an investor list and done pre-qualification based on various criteria.
If you have managed to put all of this together, kudos! I am sure it’s been a lot of work, but trust me: it will pay off in spades in the phase you are about to enter.
If you are missing one or more of the elements outlined above, I urge you to go back and put in the prep work. Preparation is about helping you develop momentum, parallelize fundraising, and keep the entire process as tight and short as possible. That’s how you maximize the probability of successfully closing an early-stage VC funding round.
Fundraising is a “do or do not, there is no try” kind of exercise, as explained in Why You Need a Strategy. The investment community is pretty small and well-networked. If you open conversations with them, you should go all the way. If you stop mid-way for whatever reason, you would have burned a bunch of investor contacts as well as your network’s social capital and goodwill. That’s hard to recover from.